Yes. I am. An absolute tyrant. I am the boss from hell. I am a slave driver.
Just not toward anyone else. Not to employees, nor co-workers, nor-children or friends. But I am an absolute b*tch to myself.
My expectations of others are entirely reasonable. Self-expectation? Hmm. My minimum requirement of self is to do at least twice the work, at least double the output.
And I tell myself that I am not at all perfectionist!
It’s just over a week since I started writing this blog and I continuously harangue myself for lack of output.
Building a website, a brand, a Facebook page, a twitter account and publishing twenty articles and having another twenty-five on the go while working full time is just not good enough. Not anywhere near good enough. I am behind schedule. I must do better.
I’m the same with work. People ask me why on earth I iron my bed linen. Apparently, not everyone does. Why don’t I use a laundry service? I won’t have pool linen; I want my own. I won’t use a laundromat; the wash quality isn’t good enough.
When I’m landscaping sections of the gardens, I arrange delivery of gravel, mulch etc. in between check out and check in and order by the weight based on the time it will take me to hand shovel the entire quantity to whichever part of the garden it is needed between guest departures and arrivals. Then I belt it. No matter what the weather is, I become a demon with a shovel. Yes, it is entirely sensible to shovel 3 ton of gravel in 37-degree heat running back and forth pushing a wheelbarrow in 2 hours isn’t it?
I wouldn’t ask that of anyone else, yet it is my base expectation of self.
I want to move furniture around between three buildings. Beds, lounge suites, dining furniture, wardrobes, the lot. Let’s rearrange the whole property. It would be entirely sensible to pay a couple of strong blokes for a couple of hours work. Me? Nah. I have to do it all myself. Sure, I am not physically strong enough to do this so I end up going to the shed and seeing what I can find to help me. Ropes, a lever, some wheels; yep, they’ll do the trick. Just randomly rig something up to make it easier. Up and down stairs, slopes, around corners there’s dumb old me doing what equates to house moves by myself. Because it is my responsibility, I must push myself.
Flat pack furniture. Two-person build, two-person lift. Nope. Rig something up to help support the weight and do it myself.
I like drawing, I am supposed to build a portfolio – but I don’t consider that what I am currently producing is of good enough standard. People keep telling me it is good enough. The local store repeatedly asks me to bring work in so they can hang it. They want to help me.
But it is not to MY standard; it doesn’t reach my expectations of self.
I drive myself; I verbally abuse myself, I nag, I harass, I harangue. I am not at all kind to me.
I’m not a perfectionist. I’m not.
I set myself unrealistic goals; goals I would not dream of setting another person. Then I berate myself soundly for not achieving them.
But I’m not a perfectionist.
I’m just a tyrant! I am my own worst enemy.
And I’m doing it again. I know it because I’m falling. The pressure cooker inside my mind is going off.
Yesterday, a day that’s not a million miles away but eons because my sense of time is so different from yours. Your second is my minute, your minute – my hour, your hour – my day … time is never-ending, drawn out, long lasting and the world around me is so slow.
There is just so much to do. I should be doing it. I know this. I know how far behind I am. I see the hedges need trimming, the dry, dead heads of summer roses need pruning, the lawns need edging, more whipper snipping, more raking, more weeding, more watering. My green bins are empty; it is Wednesday they were emptied on Saturday and should be full by Monday.
I have been busy, so busy I only have three sheets left in the cupboard – there is a pile of ironing, neatly folded and ready almost two metres tall. Plus another four beds worth when guests check out today. There are the three months of paperwork that for some reason I just cannot face. It grows in increments daily. Paperwork, the most hated thing in the world. My bills are paid. They are the only thing I can do. System generated invoices and remember to pay bills. I am six months behind in paying my super. I have another BAS to do. And cleaning and maintenance and just everything.
And I have to heal me. I have to do self-care (which currently is remembering to shower, brush my teeth, cook and eat). I have to meditate. I have to do DBT. I have to write. I have to do this. For this somehow, some way, may help someone. That is what keeps me going. I have to help some unknown person, out there alone in the big bad world. Then I have to do housework, for my house is becoming feral again.
I expect me to do all this. I used to be able to do all this. Yet I cannot, and I berate myself; I beat myself up for my failings; I remind myself that I am not good enough; not smart enough; that I am weak; that I am incapable of relationships; that it serves me right that I am alone for I am not a good person; I am a failure. Reminders are here in front of me every day, in the piles of everything I need to do.
A little voice in the emerging place called “wise mind”, is telling me to stop. Telling me to prioritise; telling me that I have to fix me first. But if I take the time to correct me, then how will I live? How will I put food on the table? I must work. People work. People do this all the time, so why can’t I? It is because I’m a failure, incompetent, stupid. I know I need help, but then I would be dependent and needy and being helpless and needy makes me a lesser person. It makes me hopeless, a failure. It will make me a victim. I don’t want to be accused of having a victim mentality. I don’t want to be called weak and dumb and useless by others. I already call myself that.
I spiral myself down with self-criticism.
I would not expect others to do this. But I demand that I do.
If I don’t, I am letting people down. If I fail, I let my aunt down. She doesn’t deserve to be let down. She is a good person. If I do this, I make her happy. She deserves to be happy. I like to make people happy. Making people happy is good. If I can’t make people happy, then I am a failure.
I know I should make me happy first, but I don’t know how to do that. I don’t deserve happiness. I do too many things wrong. Everything needs to be right. But nothing about me is right. Not anymore.
I am little pieces of no-one. I can’t put me back together, yet I am my responsibility. The responsibility of everything is so heavy.
If I fail myself, then I fail others and failing others is bad. Therefore the black and white of me tells me I am bad.
I want to throw up. I abhor myself for my failings.
It doesn’t stop.